Fascination BMW M3. For more than 30 years, the performance models of the BMW 3 Series have been fascinating. Whether the original E30 generation M3 with its S14 four-cylinder, the E36 M3 3.2 with its 321-hp straight-six, the 343 hp E46 M3, the only V8 M3, the E92 (No, the E46 M3 GTR does not count now, #because race car) or the current and for the first time officially turbo powered M3 / M4 of the F8x series.
All the BMW 3series from BMW M brings the sporty joy of driving almost perfectly to the point. But only almost.
It’s no wonder BMW has been working with us for years on their top of the line models (M3 GTS, M4 GTS) and in motorsports (Z4 GT3, M235i Racing, various safety cars …). Many exclusive car manufactures and tuners also rely on our engineering in terms of chassis; not to forget our KW Speciality dealer partners where many enthusiasts upgrade to our KW suspension kits.
This “British Racing Green” M3 was recently on the auto hoist of our KW dealer Laptime-Performance to finally connect its now supercharged power to the road by installing a KW Clubsport coilover suspension.
Underneath the bonnet of the classic “British Racing Green” wrapped E92 M3, memories of the legendary and limited production of less than 400 made, the BMW 3.0 M3 GT Coupe with its 295 hp S50B30 awake; a G-Power supercharger compressor kit boost the S65B40 engine. Depending on the performance package selected from the tuner G-Power for the BMW M3 E9x is boosted to 501 hp or up to 720 hp. This customer vehicle from Laptime-Performance has selected a compressor kit that is good for 600 hp and up.
At G-Power, you are not just given the supercharger upgrade and sent on your way. Their packages for various performance levels include the ASA compressor, with its own oil supply, pulley belts and intercooler, revised air intake, cast aluminium airbox, additional control unit, motorsport spark plugs and powerful injectors. The perfect “plug & play performance package”.
The Akrapovic titanium exhaust increases the supercharged V8 sound and delivers some more horses of power. The GT4 rear wing is made by Laptime-Performance.
Laptime-Performance also produced the front skirt lip. The color isn’t the original British Racing Green of the BMW E36 M3 GT, but a special warp that hits the BMW 312 color code almost perfectly.
While the KW Clubsport 3-way, as indicated in the name, has three-way adjustable high-performance dampers. They are and independently adjustable with six clicks in the low-speed and 15 clicks in the high-speed compression stage (TVCLH-A, Twin Valve Compression Low High-speed Adjustable) and in the low-speed rebound (TVR-A, Twin Valve Rebound-Adjustable). On the other hand, the KW Clubsport 2-way are just independently adjustable in the bump (TVC-A, Twin Valve Compression-Adjustable) and rebound (TVR-A, Twin Valve Rebound-Adjustable), each tuned separately in the low-speed range.
In many forums, it is always claimed that a KW Clubsport 2-way coilover kit is basically only a variant 3 with linear racing springs and KW Clubsport top mounts. That would be nice, then we would have much less work. But there is more to it than meets the eye. Our Clubsport 2-way and the Variant 3 coilover suspension kit, although they utilize a similar valve technology, vary quite drastically from each other.
In KW Variant 3, as in KW Clubsport 2-way, the low-speed compression forces (twelve clicks) and the low-speed rebound forces (16 clicks) can be set separately, but the two-stage bump and rebound valves in Variant 3 and the Clubsport 2-way have a completely different valve configuration. For example, we use much different damper curves in the Clubsport kits better suited for track usage. Other differences are that we also use much higher spring rates for the Clubsport suspension springs and even different piston rods.
Why? Anyone who regularly participates with sense in track days with his road legal vehicle does not want to drive with his normal street tires on the track, but changes to semi-slicks or sports tires. Semi-slicks and sports tires have a comparatively tighter carcass compared to normal tires, different rubber compounds and stick optimally at higher tire temperatures.
Depending on the tire manufacturer, the grip of semi-slicks begins to work really well from a tire temperature of 60 ° Celsius or higher. Note: The tire temperature is best measured on the tread of the tread blocks at the “inside”, “middle” and then “outside” of the tire.
Driving on a racetrack is much more challenging for your car due to the much higher speeds, the constant load changes and the frequent “Curb Action”. That’s why our track performance applications, such as the KW Clubsport, are built with completely different components than our Street Performance a KW V1, V2, V3 or Street Comfort products like DDC, height adjustable springs or KW Street Comfort suspension kits. It is no wonder that our Clubsport suspension systems regularly set lap records in different magazines. In order for direct handling of our Clubsport suspension systems to give you even better feedback, our Clubsport coilovers are usually also equipped with a Unibal Top mounts on the front axle. So, you not only get more direct steering and feedback from the car, but can adjust the camber optimally for your fights against the clock on the racetrack of your choice.
Of course, the steering behaviour of the 265/35 Michelin Cup 2 on the 10 x 18-inch BBS motorsports rims (E88 design) benefits from the optimized camber setting. On the drive axle, the Cup 2 sports tires in the size of 285/30-18 are mounted on the BBS 10.5 x 18-inch rims. According to the parts certificate, you can set your BMW M3 (E92) with a KW Clubsport 2-way as low as with a KW variant 3.
The clearance for the tested lowering is between 10 – 40 mm at the front axle and 5 – 35 mm at the drive axle. These values correspond to a lowering of 20-50 mm or 15-45 mm compared to a conventional BMW E92. But much more than the lowering, it is more interesting how a BMW M3 (E92) drives with a KW Clubsport coilover kit?
Compared to the original equipment, an M3 with a KW Clubsport suspension steers much more directly and also benefits from razor-sharp handling at the limit. Even on load changes, the BMW remains good-natured with our suspension. But before you want to set your own personal setup on our KW Clubsport suspension, lean back into your bucket seats – the Recaro Sportster CS has been retrofitted in the M3 – and get to know your car a bit better with the Clubsport coilover kit.
After all, our recommended basic setup is the best compromise for all situations according to our driving tests on the Nordschleife, motorway, highway, and tests on the driving dynamics test rig. But if you realize after 2000 – 3000 kilometers that your butt dyno prefers a tighter or more comfortable suspension setup, you can quickly dial in your preferred setup.
But one thing you must not forget it, it really makes no sense to have a soft or tight, understeer or oversteer, sharp or tame driving behavior, if you cannot personally handle such a car setup. You need to feel comfortable while driving and with our KW Clubsport coilovers, you will definitely get a performance tool that will help you feel at home at the limit.
Through the Dealer Search tool on our homepage you will find a KW dealer in your area who can provide advice and practical help when it comes to getting the right suspension setup for you.
Photo 100octane.de, Axel Weichert (1x), Laptime-Performance, BMW M, KW